Six Shades of Winter Movies

Posted by KC | 2/25/2015 10:03:00 AM | 0 comments »


SEVENTH SON
ACTION/FANTASY

PLOT: An aging witch-slayer finds another to take his place.

                This film was based on a novel The Spook’s Apprentice also called Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch in America by Joseph Delaney.  John Gregory (Jeff Bridges) is an aging witch-hunter and searches for another to replace him.  He finds him in Thomas Ward (Ben Barnes Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian).  The main witch (Mother Malkin) is Julianne Moore.  Bridges is great with his gruff sounding voice and Moore is wicked as the witch.  You seen this adventure fantasy so many times before but the special effects are excellent.  If you like this genre go but if not wait.

WILD CARD
CRIME DRAMA

PLOT: A lethal man helps a friend out with violent results.

                Nick Wild (Jason Statham) is a bodyguard who is also a compulsive gambler.  He helps a lady friend who was beaten up badly but doesn’t know the abusive man is mob connected.  The movie is filmed very well and Statham is not kicking ass every ten minutes but when he does it is worth watching.  I guess Statham wants to prove to Hollywood he can act but his fans like to see him beat the hell out of the bad guys.  You should see this on video or on demand.

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
EROTIC ROMANCE

PLOT:  Based on the bestselling book novel by E.L. James.

                Anastasia Steel (Dakota Johnson) is a cute, literature student who helps her sick friend out and interviews Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), a handsome rich guy who has kinky taste.  She is hot for him in a romantic way and he wants her in a submissive way.  He follows/stalks her wherever she goes. He smacks her tail when he doesn’t get his way.  He does have a background story which makes sense for his behavior.  It is The Story of O (also written by a woman) with a contract.  It is late night Cinemax with soap opera on the big screen.  Honestly, I don’t know why this film has made so much money. It is a movie for couples who are curious.   If you can wait for cable or Pay –Per- View. There are two more novels which they are going to make.

FOXCATCHER-2014
DRAMA

PLOT: True story of John du Pount who will do anything to win Olympic Wrestling in the 80’s.

                The story begins with Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum ,Magic Mike) is an intense wrestler who wins awards at the real wrestling and John du Pont( Steve Carell, Get Smart, The Office) wants him on his team so he can have a great Olympic team.  They work and play together and they admire each other but when Mark starts to lose he wants his brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo The Avengers) as well for his team.  The three male leads are amazing especially Mr. Carell.  He is eerie and eccentric  as du Pont.  Tatum can act when given the right material and Ruffalo is great as his easy going devoted brother with a family.  This is not a popcorn movie; it is slow moving.  It is good because of the acting and directing. Steve Carell is nominated for Best Actor and Mark Ruffalo for Best Supporting Actor.

THE BOY NEXT DOOR
SUSPENSE

PLOT: Sexy separated woman has a one night stand with a psycho stud.

                It sounds like a Lifetime Channel movie?  Because there was!!  This one is steamier and more violent.  Jennifer Lopez is Claire Patterson who is trying to start her life over with her son after finding out her husband has cheated on her.  She meets a handsome student Noah (Ryan Guzman) who just happens to be her neighbor and when her son leaves for the weekend.  Ms Lopez is too talented to do a film like this along with singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth.  People who have seen movies like this know what will happen.  Ms Lopez produced the film and it made money because of her.  I hope she makes better movies than this!!

OCTOBER GALE 2014
DRAMA

PLOT:  A lonely widow finds a shot hunk in her home.

                It sounds cheesy but it is a really a good drama.  Helen (Patricia Clarkson) husband died and she goes to her isolated cottage for some time alone and a handsome stranger William (Scott Speedman) is in her house bleeding from a gun wound.  She is a doctor so she cures him.  He tells her the truth there is a hitman (Tim Roth) after him and he won’t stop until he is dead.  Don’t expect the typical Hollywood thriller because it isn’t!!  It is a realistic thriller if there is such a thing.  The best part is Ms Clarkson remembering her dead husband and how much she loved him.  She is an underrated actress.


Oscar Nominations: Fawning and Yawning

Posted by KC | 2/09/2015 08:40:00 AM | 0 comments »


SELMA
HISTORICAL DRAMA

PLOT:  It is about Dr. Martin Luther King determined to secure equal voting rights.

                No, it’s not a biography of Dr. King just a small part of his legacy.  He was trying to make President Lyndon Baines Johnson to sign for all people to vote by peaceful protest and if not blacks would march in Selma.  Director Ava DuVernay showed Dr. King as a human being as well as a noble but determined man that wanted justice.  David Oyelowo (The Butler and Red Tails) is very good as Dr. King. 

Don’t expect the famous speeches he gives, for he doesn’t.  He has doubts but forsakes it is for the greater good for the people.  Carmen Ejogo is beautiful and wonderful as Coretta Scott King.  Tom Wilkinson is great as President Johnson.  He is salty and scheming but wants to be a good man.  The film is nominated for best picture and best song Glory.  I wish it was for best director for Ms. DuVernay did an excellent job.

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
BIOGRAPHY/DRAMA

PLOT:  The true story about the physicist Stephen Hawking

                Remember in 2014 when people and celebrities on the internet and TV splashing water over them for Lou Gehrig’s disease?  Well Stephen Hawking has that disease at the young age of twenty one.  The actor who played him Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables) is extraordinary.  A brilliant mind in a broken body with a sense of humor is hard to portray but he did it.  Felicity Jones (The Amazing Spider Man 2) is very good as his wife who endures the hardships of taking care of husband with his condition.

BOYHOOD
DRAMA

PLOT: Coming of age movie of a child from 8 to 18.

                What makes this different than other movies that the director filmed this for 12 years with the same cast!!  It makes the film very realistic.   Mason (Ellar Coltrane) is a young child who sees the world differently and it shows as he grows up. Patricia Arquette is so good as the mother who has bad relationships with men but takes care of her kids, graduates college and gets a good job.  Mason’s father is Ethan Hawke and he is equally good as father who cares but not enough to sustain employment.  The movie is long: over two hours and thirty minutes (feels longer) but I believe the director Richard Linklater wanted to show the audience life is slow and mundane. 

BIRDMAN
COMEDY/DRAMA

PLOT:  Actor does a serious play to be taken seriously as an actor.

                Riggan Thomas, (Michael Keaton) who wants to do a dramatic play on Broadway to be taken critically as a talented actor and director.  He was “The Birdman,” a popular superhero and he wants to get away from playing in a successful franchise.  He hears “The Birdman” in his head and this play cost him financially and emotionally. 

This movie is not for everyone.  To tell you the truth it is for actors for actors who are constantly typecast all the time.  They love the attention and the money but they don’t want to be known for that one character that made them famous.  Actors need and want variety.  The writing is very well done-especially between Riggan and the critic for it tells what is wrong with Hollywood today.

CAKE
DRAMA

PLOT: An unhappy woman becomes a pill-popping addict.

                Claire Bennett (Jennifer Aniston) was in an accident and in constant pain.  She goes to therapy, sleeps around and verbally abuses her maid but nothing makes her happy than her pain-medicated pills.  She hides them and even goes to Mexico to get her meds.  She is sad most of the time or viciously funny other times.  Aniston does a good job but she wasn’t nominated but she should have been.  She transformed herself to an average female which is hard for her.  Adriana Barraza as Silvana, her maid should have been nominated as her religious maid who also wanted to be her friend. 
  
WHIPLASH
DRAMA

PLOT:  Apsiring drummer goes to a music school where the teacher drives him to the extreme.

                Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) is an ambitious drummer who goes to a top-notched music school and has to deal with prompt music teacher Terrance Fletcher (J.K. Simmons Spiderman 2002 ).  This teacher curses at you, degrades you, humiliates you to force a great performance out of you. He explains why he does this but is it truly necessary?  Mr. Simmons is very good at being very bad.  It also shows what a good teacher influence can change a student or students lives.  Mr. Teller gives a good performance also as a driven artist who will stop at nothing for perfection.

THE IMITATION GAME
HISTORICAL DRAMA

PLOT:  The true story of Alan Turing , an English code-breaker.

                Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch, Star Trek) is brilliant British  code-breaker but he is also gay, anti-social and arrogant.  He invented what became the modern computer and saved many lives in World War 2.  When Hollywood makes a “true story” it is usually not accurate so you have to read about the subject and draw your own conclusion.  Mr. Cumberbatch is touching as Turing.  You like him one minute, hate him the next.  I don’t care for the actor myself he creeps me out but he is a very good.  Keira Knightley is very good as a smart and amusing as Turing’s further wife.  The movie is humorous in the beginning then it gets slowly serious.

WILD
DRAMA

PLOT:  Based on a true story Cheryl Strayed who walked 1,100 alone.

                Cheryl( Resse Witherspoon) had a reckless life with drugs and wrong men after her mother died so she decides to walk by herself  over a thousand miles in three months to find herself.  She is driven as there are many flashbacks with her sad, abused life.  This story happened in 1995.  She was a brave woman for in many times she probably was going to be raped and killed.  She met good people, bad people and strange people but she continued on to prove to herself she mattered.  Witherspoon is tough!  She doesn’t cry when things go wrong she cruses and goes on.  Worth watching.

STILL ALICE
DRAMA

PLOT:  An educated woman in her fifties develops Alzheimer’s.

                Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) is a professor of language, she a loving husband, three great grown up children and soon to be a grandmother when she is told she has Alzheimer’s.  If you don’t know what Alzheimer’s is it affects your memory and your mind.  It is a terrible disease for it is progressive meaning it gets worse until you die.  It is not a popcorn movie, people.  You see a vibrant woman deteriorate before your eyes.  Moore does an excellent performance.  She is another Meryl Strep.


Winter Traction, Ribald Action

Posted by KC | 2/09/2015 08:32:00 AM | 0 comments »


TAKEN 3
ACTION

PLOT: Ex operative has to solve his wife’s murder.

                Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) has to use his particular set of skills to find who killed his wife (Famke Janssen) while keeping her daughter (Maggie Grace) safe.  Story is not very important or logic for that matter but how many bodies will Mills leave behind!!  It is a suspense film with lots of action and it is good.  Neeson is an elderly James Bond who can get out of any situation and that’s why people come to watch the films.  There is talk of Taken 4.

VICE
SCI-FI/THRILLER

PLOT: A resort where robots provide your every wish.

                Julian Michaels (Bruce Willis) has made the ultimate adult resort where artificial who look human carter to every wish including murder.  One artificial becomes “aware” which simply means she knows she is alive and runs away from the resort and her name is Kelly (Ambyr Childers) there is also a cop named Roy who hates the resort for he feels some people who pay will still act out their sick fantasies in the real world. The movie is a B-movie similar to Westworld.  It is one of those movies when you watch and forget a second later.  I enjoyed it even there is lot of things so wrong with it.  If you don’t see it in the movies watch it on VOD.

WEDDING RINGER
ROMANTIC COMEDY

PLOT:  Workaholic loner needs a group of guys to be his groom.

                Doug Harris (Josh Gad) is chubby guy who has no friends.  A beautiful woman wants to marry him and wants a big wedding but he has no friends so he hires Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart) for a price to buy him friends to be grooms.  It would be a woman’s movie if it wasn’t for the Doug and his set of crazy but fun loving new friends.  The stuff they do is outrageous and if you like Kevin Hart see it.


Culturally Awkward or Unsettling Sagas

Posted by KC | 1/21/2015 06:40:00 AM | 0 comments »



UNBROKEN
BIOGRAPHICAL/DRAMA

PLOT: The true story of Louis Zamperini.

                            Louis Zamperini was an extraordinary man.  An Italian immigrant who had trouble with the law as a teen then started running and winning.  He was in the Olympics.  He then went to war, stranded on a life raft for 47 days then became prison of war in a Japanese camp and when the war was over he came home.  This is not a popcorn movie but amazing story of the will to survive, religious and forgiveness. English actor Jack O Connell is wonderful as Zamperini.  Actress Angelina Jolie (Salt, Mr. and Mrs. Smith) did an incredible directing job and cinematography Roger Deakins as he creates dark, bleak and banal atmosphere.  The bad part they only shown one area of his life read his book for the rest to understand how reliant this man was.


KILL THE MESSENGER
CRIME/DRAMA

PLOT:  The true story about reporter Gary Webb who exposed the CIA and drugs in LA.
               
                            When you write the truth the CIA begins to show interest in you and that is what happened to journalist Gary Webb who tells the story that CIA needed to fund the Nicaragua War they put crack/cocaine on the streets of LA. At first he was praised then smeared and disowned by his own newspaper that he put on the map.  You don’t know this story because at the time another scandal took its place Clinton/Monica Lewinsky.  Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye, Avengers) is very good as Mr. Webb telling the truth and getting blamed for it.  This is why we need to have independent movies to show films like this.


INTO THE WOODS
FANTASY/MUSICAL

PLOT: A twist on many fairy tales as a baker and his wife want a child.

They merge the fairy tales of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood into a story of a baker and his wife who can’t have children. They have to take belongings from each character and the witch will grant them their wish. It is clever and fun-at least the first hour and then it gets dark!! A few things you don’t see coming. It is based on the musical with the same name. I do hope the stage play was better. It is not bad just different. They sell it like it is for kids-not really.

Big Films for Cold Season

Posted by KC | 1/04/2015 08:44:00 AM | 0 comments »


ANNIE
MUSICAL

PLOT:  A retelling of Annie from the Broadway play.

                The film is really cute but some of the songs are misplaced and most of the cast can’t sing too well except Jamie Foxx.  You know the story Annie a black foster child (Quvenzhane Wallis) with a mean foster mother (Cameron Diaz) helps Foxx who is trying to become mayor of New York.  Diaz is good as the evil but comical foster mom.  Bobby Cannavale is Guy his publicity agent who will do anything to get him elected.  It is great for family viewing.
  

HUNGER GAMES 3: MOCKINGJAY PART 1
SCI-FI/ACTION

PLOT:  The 3rd entry of the successful series.

                Katniss Everdeen played by talented actress Jennifer Lawrence is now the leader and symbol of the rebellion against President Snow (Donald Sutherland).  The film shows how propaganda changes lives and minds and both sides use it!!  Sadly, it is the last film of Philip Seymour Hoffman but he plays his part well.  I read (haven’t read the novels) it is  as close to the novel as it can get which it may be long to some for it has something to say.  I believe the next film will have more action.
  

EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS
BIBLICAL/HISTORICAL/DRAMA

PLOT:  Another film about Moses and Ramses.

                When you see this movie forget you have seen the Ten Commandants in 1956 with Charlton Heston for this is director Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator) version.  It is a different film entirely.  The special effects are awesome but in the climactic scene you wanted to see more.  Christian Bale is okay as Moses.  Joel Edgerton is so-so as Ramses.  To me, I thought the title was for a video game.  It is worth seeming mainly for the special effects.



DEAR WHITE PEOPLE
SATIRE

PLOT:  Four different black students in an Ivy League college.

                It is very funny and insightful but it is not as funny as the trailer.  The question asks “Are we racial free today?”  You answer that question.  It is mostly a cast of unknowns except for Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris) and Dennis Haysbert (TV show 24 and All State commercials.)  The film started as a trailer and got backing from kickstart.com.  I hope Hollywood gives director Justin Simien to do movies for they need to tell more black stories other than comedies, crime and slavery.


HOBBIT 3: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
FANTASY/ADVENTURE

PLOT:  The final movie of the amazing trilogy.

                You know who the hobbit is Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and the five armies are the elves, the dwarfs, the Orcs, the humans and the eagles.  Those who read the novels or keeps up with the movies know that the dragon Smaug burns Lake Town to the ground before being killed and the only thing left is miles of gold which everybody wants.  Soon it is a showdown of endless fighting and  spectacular special effects.  Director Peter Jackson should be proud to make a wonderful, successful series of J.R.R.Tolkien’s novels.  The films are epic, have great acting and have heart.  Worth watching.


THE INTERVIEW
ACTION / COMEDY

PLOT:  Two idiots have to kill the dictator of North Korea.

                Let me just say the hype is much better than the movie.  It’s the story of two immature guys-Dave Skylark (James Franco) host of entertainment show and his producer Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen).  The President of North Korea, Kim Jung Un (Randall Park) enjoys Skylark show and then CIA visits them for the two to assonate him.  James Franco is funny as a self-absorbed talk show host who wants to do something better as well as Seth Rogen.  Seth Rogen is not funny to me.  He is better as a producer and writer in real life.  The funniest parts are not the leads but the cameos such as Eminem, Rob Lowe and Joseph Gordon Levitt.  There is a lot of humor but it is VUGLAR for the most part.  If you can wait for video or VOD please do.